Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Somewhere on someone's blog I read that in the summer you have lots to write about and no time to write. Winter you have lots of time and nothing to write about. That is certainly true with me. Between the 16th birthday and graduation I have not had a moment to spare and more stuff just keeps getting piled on. So here are pictures of the oldest's graduation. We are very proud of her. The party was good with lots of good food and the gift was a huge success.

For those who don't know, we are a blended family. The man and his daughter (the oldest) and me and mine. Mine being the youngest. The man was a widower when I met him trying to raise two kids on his own. (His son is grown and gone now). So the gift to our oldest was this.  Her mother had a ring with three diamonds that had been handed down from great grandma, to grandma, to mother. The man had been saving it to give to her when she "grew up". He also still had his and mom's wedding bands that were made of white and yellow gold. So I suggested we have a pendant and two earring's made from the wedding bands of her parents using both colors of gold in the design and the diamonds from her mother's ring. She is the 4th generation to get the diamonds and her parents wedding bands were melted and made into the settings to hold them. In this way we were able to make sure her mother had a part in her graduation. The jeweler did a great job and she was touched and happy to have such a memorable  and sentimental gift.

The party was a success but oh so much work for me. She had requested a carrot cake from Costco because
they make the best but apparently they don't make them anymore. Go figure. So I made one from my mom's recipe which is one of the best I have ever tasted. We started the meal with an anti-pasto platter, and shrimp cocktail followed with a lasagna Bolognese, a vegetarian lasagna with pesto and sun dried tomato, and a baked ravioli. We also had watermelon, fresh pineapple, and strawberries and Olive oil and Rosemary bread with a Cesar salad to round out the meal. The vegetarian Lasagna went over big. Lots of request for the recipe which I had to then back track and remember what I did. So everyone had fun and her friends from her old school made it for the party and spent the night. We were all so tired the next day all we did was lay around the living room watching old movies and sleeping through most of them. Fun but I will be glad to get back to normal.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sometimes it takes a Village........

...Even in the animal world. My two silkies that are raising two chicks each seem to be sharing parental duties. I was late collecting the two families the other night and when I went out to the chicken tractor (which they share during the day) the black Silkie had all four under her even though the white one was sitting right next to her. Now these two moms are as different as night and day and I don't mean their color. The black one is calm and talks softly to her babies showing them food, picking it up and letting the little ones eat it right out of her mouth. She also knows I will take care of the three of them and acts like she wants me to pick them up and carry them in at dusk. As a result her babies are very tame and don't mind being handled. The white one squawks and makes noise, gets between me and the babes and just lets them know that I am a monster not to be trusted. She is however more able to defend her babies against the bigger hens where the black one tries but then chooses to run as opposed to standing and fighting like the white one resulting in losing one or both of her babies in the chaos. Yesterday a huge commotion outside brought me running from the house to see geese flying and honking and the two mom's raising hell. They were in the chicken tractor and all I could see was both moms running from one end of it to the other in tandem as if they were connected at the hip. At first I couldn't tell what the heck was going on but the way everyone was acting I was sure it had something to do with a predator. Then I saw it. A grey squirrel had got into the tractor to get some food and the two moms where trying to kill it. Poor terrified thing finally found its way out and I bet he doesn't try that again. So perhaps it does take a village.

Sometimes the village reaches across specie boundaries. We were having one of those lovely relaxed days at home. The sun was shining and the kids were hanging out in the yard getting some sun. Our oldest had been working on end of school homework earlier while the geese tried to eat it and was now in the hammock with her boyfriend while the youngest and her girl friend were sunning themselves on a blanket next to the hammock. A rare, perfect, peaceful day. Looking out the kitchen window I noticed one of the geese was in the hammock with the oldest and one was on the blanket with the youngest and her friend. The other two were sleeping at the foot of the blanket. No one is going to believe this and the pictures are on the friends ipod but I will try to post them when and if I get them. I would trade a weeks worth of normal days for one of these. It was perfect.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Rites of Passage

June seems to be the month for it. Birthdays for 16 year olds, and high school graduations. Announcements are rolling in from friends with other graduates. Happens because they are kids that grew up with your own. Young people that slept in your house rolled up in sleeping bags, sharing in celebrations of birthdays, recitals, school plays, picnics and camping trips and yes sometimes the not so good times too.

Today we are in the throes of a 16th birthday. Last night was a family dinner with the requested homemade mac and cheese, broccoli, and Italian sausage. Topped off with a chocolate cheesecake. The big gift is always given at this function and this was no exception. At 16 our girls get their first piece of real jewelry. A ring and this time it was a sapphire ring set in white gold. Not terribly expensive but exciting to get and a treasure that they keep along with the memories.

Today our youngest is "allowed" to get her navel pierced. I picked her and a friend up after school to take her to a tattoo parlor where the oldest had hers done. Only after much thought and research did we settle on this place to have this done and only by  Fat Tony. He seems like a nice guy and has kids of his own. He is also very careful and makes sure the girls know how to take care of the piercing after it is done so as not to get an infection. The parlor itself also seems to be not quite so, how should I put this, scary. I don't advocate piercings or tattoos but I do want my kids to learn how to make their own decisions and consequently suffer the repercussions of decisions made as long as they are not life threatening. This one is not as bad as some others they could be making. So off we go and she, like the oldest, will get the old speech about risky behaviors and consequences. Something the oldest one still remembers and flings at me occasionally. "Youth is  a wonderful thing. To bad it's wasted on the young".

Later this week we will be going into town to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean in 3D IMAX and dinner at her favorite restaurant. When we are done with this rite I will begin working on the next one. GRADUATION! The gift for that has been ordered. Now I just have to figure out what to do for the party.